A Summary Of The History Of Audiophoolery

Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Overlord
So I ran across this post in the FB group "Audio Bullshit" that lays out the early days and beginnings of some of the goofier claims and products that exist in this hobby today. It's a written essay in response to a friend who's "more technically minded". I want to make sure credit is given where it's due so I'll link the op below. I just love this post. I know @lovinthehd has seen this one, but wanted to share with the rest of you guys.


"This is pretty long. You may or may not find it interesting.
----------------
Upon reading a post in Audiophiles-North America, one of my more technically minded associates, who is not an audiophile, asked me, “how long has this silliness been going on?” I thought about it for a minute and decided to commit my answer to papyrus in the form of this little essay on the subject.

This audio silliness has been going on for a long time but not forever. Back in the day when LPs ruled, a lot of people established their bona fides by offering advice on the proper way to equip, set up and use a turntable. Turntables and records are the hi-fi equivalent of a carburetor: both are so klunky and difficult to tune it’s a miracle they work at all, but once you get them set up and working correctly, the results can be breathtaking.

Most of audiophilia back in the day revolved around not only how to operate a turntable, but also a good preamp. Since phono preamps have equalization curves in them, everybody has an opinion about the best way to de-emphasize the RIAA recording curve. The self-appointed, self-anointed experts were happy so long as they could help you play your records correctly. Audio magazine, Stereo Review and Stereophile in the 60’s and 70’s were happy to advise you on the best way to play records and they offered rebuild and upgrade advice for your Dyna Stereo 70 and PAS3x. They offered “advertiser approved reviews” of new equipment for you to consider. Everyone was happy and you could enjoy music at home without mortgaging the farm to pay for it.

All this came to a screeching halt when the CD went mass market. The marketing departments of Japan Inc. convinced the world that CDs were perfect. “Your copy of the master tape” is how they hyped them. This put the turntable, cartridge and tone arm experts out of business in short order. Not being content to go quietly into that good night, the professional expert class scrambled to find something they could use to re-establish their expertness.

Since CDs were brand new technology in the mid 80s, the hoi polloi had no idea how those shiny little things worked. (Most of the professional experts didn’t either, but that didn’t stop them.) You couldn’t see the needle moving against the groove like you could with records. But since records were such a pain in the ass, and anything but portable, people embraced this new technology whole-heartedly. What kept the expert class awake at night was the fact that the CD player had three holes in the back: AC power, left channel, right channel. There were no knobs to turn, angles to adjust and nothing to be tweaked. Horror of horrors, not only was the CD “perfect”, it was perfect straight out of the box. They needed something, desperately. Enter the silly CD tweaks like green pens and Armor All and “high performance” cables, to include power cords.

The first real relief for the panicked expert class came when some willing manufacturers put digital outputs on the back of their players. Finally, you needed another box and, praise the lord, a cable to run between them! Now the “experts” had new ground to plow. And plow it they did.

This paved the way for a whole new breed of expert and a whole new lexicon of big words nobody had heard before. We were introduced to things like “sampling rates”, “word length”, “jitter”, “SPDIF Interfaces”, “stonewall filters”, “DACs”, “oxygen free copper”, Nyquist’s theorem and the best, most meaningless one ever, “Digital Ready” amplifiers. “Digital Ready” amplifiers were no different than their predecessors, they just said “Digital Ready” on the front. The CD not only represented a leap forward in convenience, but it also provided unlimited opportunity for hucksters to take advantage of a whole new class of tech-ignorant, gullible and well-heeled audiophiles who needed the help of people who knew things nobody else knew.

Fast forward thirty years. Now we have people selling machines that grind the edges off your CDs so they sound better. I don’t know if they still do it, but 10 years ago when you went to audition any stereo component the salesman had all of his demo discs painted green around the edges. You can spend more for a power cord than most people pay for a divorce, and if you want the latest cutting-edge speaker system, prepare to cash out your retirement, win the big one or take out a second mortgage.

One thing I have observed in listening to high end systems since 1990 with all these miracle tweaks is that the differences disappear when the salesman leaves the room. For the ones that do sound different, the difference is not large and not necessarily an improvement, and certainly does not hold up to a cost-benefit analysis.

But all of these CD “improvements” have been rendered moot by the current trend in audio distribution. The download and streaming are in the process of putting the CD out of business. After a relatively short run of 30 years (very short for something pitched as perfect), it looks like the cool kids don’t want to mess around with discs and tapes any longer; they want something they can put into their i-phones and take with them. Of course, the audio expert class cannot resist the temptation to step forward and save you, once again, from low fidelity. They have picked a fight with the internet about whether a FLAC is superior to a .wav and which mp3 sampling rate is right for you. Of course, all this helpful information will help you get the best sound possible from your little earbuds.

But just when you thought it was safe to go back into the stereo shop, the audiophile grade huckster has once again reared his ugly head. Enter, or re-enter, the reel to reel tape recorder. Apparently a magazine known as The Absolute Sound ran an item in 2013 extolling the benefits of analog tape and how it is superior to digital. The more gullible of the “me-too” audiophiles headed straight for ebay, bypassing every garage sale in the zip code, and immediately created a demand for 30 year old tape machines that you can no longer buy tape (or parts) for, unless you get lucky at Goodwill or bent over a barrel on ebay. Up until this item appeared in the magazine, you could buy reel to reel machines for nothing, or next to it, on ebay or any yard sale in the neighborhood. Some charity run thrift stores had stopped accepting them as donations. Now they are the hottest brand going in audiophile circles. There is even a website, which specializes in a certain make and model, which will calibrate an old machine, do any necessary repairs, paint it in your choice of funky colors, and then sell it to salivating audiophiles for prices in excess of 10,000 dollars.

So when will the madness end? It won’t, as long there are lawyers, doctors, stock brokers, hedge fund managers, trust funders and other well heeled but technically ignorant buyers for whatever the huckster du jour is selling.

If you want a demonstration of what I’m saying here, challenge a self-appointed, self-anointed expert on a technical point. See if you can find a real engineer, you know, the kind who earned a degree and professional registration, and have them challenge the latest outrage published in Stereophile. Of course, the Stereophile contributor is taken more seriously owing to the fact he writes under a pseudonym for a magazine, has golden ears and tells the reader exactly what he wants to hear.

The ensuing hissy fit, while at times ugly, is fun to watch. It creates a beast I have dubbed “the butt-hurt audiophile.” The common defense offered by the butt-hurt audiophile when you challenge his orthodoxy is either, “your system lacks resolution and therefore is not worthy of the upgraded __________”, or, “your hearing is simply not good enough to hear what I hear”, or the more common, and much less sophisticated, obscenity filled rant that will include not-so-oblique references to your bloodline, your mother, your native language and sometimes even your name.

So what do you do about this madness? Nothing. You let the kids play in their gilded sandbox while congratulating one another on their most recent purchases. If you choose not to play the game, you can still enjoy good sound without spending your life savings. In my opinion, you can get the most improvements in performance from your stationary home system by spending your power cord and cable dollars on better speakers, amplifiers and source components, in that order. But there is an upper limit which is beyond the knee in the cost-v-benefit curve above which you are paying good money and getting nothing to show for it, except bragging rights of course.

The most overlooked and under-argued part of your system is the room it sits in. Have your room acoustically treated and experiment with speaker placement. These tweaks, unlike the nebulous “improvements” made by ten thousand dollar cables, will be apparent immediately and to everyone. If you feel the need, a power conditioner will eliminate the need for a mega-buck power cord, assuming you have something wrong with your power, which you probably don’t. And I’m sorry to say this, but people who spend thousands on interconnects, speaker wire and power cords are best described by WC Fields in his not-so-famous quote: “It is morally wrong to allow a sucker to keep his money.”

The audiophile community is split into two camps these days: the true believers who approach the endeavor with an almost religious zeal, the types who believe everything they are told as long as it comes from a “trusted” source. Then you have the skeptics. The engineers who actually design these devices are skeptics; it’s the marketers who turn the product into a religious object after the engineers are finished with it. Anyone who has an ounce of knowledge about electronics and engineering should also bring a heavy dose of “show me” to the party. Most do, some don’t.

I guess as long as you can objectively see what is going on in the business (and the hobby) it is relatively harmless and is certainly entertaining. The people who fall for the hucksters’ claims do so willingly and can afford it. It is fun to watch them when buyer’s remorse sets in and they start trying to justify spending 60,000 dollars for a plasma tweeter, but they have hurt nobody but themselves. It’s a textbook case of caveat emptor.

My approach to dealing with a high pressure salesman and a funky sales pitch is to come back in a week and listen again. If spending 100K is a good idea today, it will still be a good idea next week after I have had time to think it over. And if the shop is not there in a week, you didn’t want to be doing business with them anyway. Please note, I do not have 100K tied up in hi-fi. My actual outlay, I refuse to call it an investment because it isn’t, is around 10K. Most of my equipment was bought second hand. As with automobiles, I prefer to let someone else eat the initial depreciation.

OK, that’s my opinion on the current state of the high end based on 40 years of observation and participation.

Fire away. CvdJ"


 
Last edited:
Mark E. Long

Mark E. Long

Audioholic Chief
So I ran across this post in the FB group "Audio Bullshit" that lays out the early days and beginnings of some of the goofier claims and products that exist in this hobby today. It's a written essay in response to a friend who's "more technically minded". I want to make sure credit is given where it's due so I'll link the op below. I just love this post. I know @lovinthehd has seen this one, but wanted to share with the rest of you guys.


"This is pretty long. You may or may not find it interesting.
----------------
Upon reading a post in Audiophiles-North America, one of my more technically minded associates, who is not an audiophile, asked me, “how long has this silliness been going on?” I thought about it for a minute and decided to commit my answer to papyrus in the form of this little essay on the subject.

This audio silliness has been going on for a long time but not forever. Back in the day when LPs ruled, a lot of people established their bona fides by offering advice on the proper way to equip, set up and use a turntable. Turntables and records are the hi-fi equivalent of a carburetor: both are so klunky and difficult to tune it’s a miracle they work at all, but once you get them set up and working correctly, the results can be breathtaking.

Most of audiophilia back in the day revolved around not only how to operate a turntable, but also a good preamp. Since phono preamps have equalization curves in them, everybody has an opinion about the best way to de-emphasize the RIAA recording curve. The self-appointed, self-anointed experts were happy so long as they could help you play your records correctly. Audio magazine, Stereo Review and Stereophile in the 60’s and 70’s were happy to advise you on the best way to play records and they offered rebuild and upgrade advice for your Dyna Stereo 70 and PAS3x. They offered “advertiser approved reviews” of new equipment for you to consider. Everyone was happy and you could enjoy music at home without mortgaging the farm to pay for it.

All this came to a screeching halt when the CD went mass market. The marketing departments of Japan Inc. convinced the world that CDs were perfect. “Your copy of the master tape” is how they hyped them. This put the turntable, cartridge and tone arm experts out of business in short order. Not being content to go quietly into that good night, the professional expert class scrambled to find something they could use to re-establish their expertness.

Since CDs were brand new technology in the mid 80s, the hoi polloi had no idea how those shiny little things worked. (Most of the professional experts didn’t either, but that didn’t stop them.) You couldn’t see the needle moving against the groove like you could with records. But since records were such a pain in the ass, and anything but portable, people embraced this new technology whole-heartedly. What kept the expert class awake at night was the fact that the CD player had three holes in the back: AC power, left channel, right channel. There were no knobs to turn, angles to adjust and nothing to be tweaked. Horror of horrors, not only was the CD “perfect”, it was perfect straight out of the box. They needed something, desperately. Enter the silly CD tweaks like green pens and Armor All and “high performance” cables, to include power cords.

The first real relief for the panicked expert class came when some willing manufacturers put digital outputs on the back of their players. Finally, you needed another box and, praise the lord, a cable to run between them! Now the “experts” had new ground to plow. And plow it they did.

This paved the way for a whole new breed of expert and a whole new lexicon of big words nobody had heard before. We were introduced to things like “sampling rates”, “word length”, “jitter”, “SPDIF Interfaces”, “stonewall filters”, “DACs”, “oxygen free copper”, Nyquist’s theorem and the best, most meaningless one ever, “Digital Ready” amplifiers. “Digital Ready” amplifiers were no different than their predecessors, they just said “Digital Ready” on the front. The CD not only represented a leap forward in convenience, but it also provided unlimited opportunity for hucksters to take advantage of a whole new class of tech-ignorant, gullible and well-heeled audiophiles who needed the help of people who knew things nobody else knew.

Fast forward thirty years. Now we have people selling machines that grind the edges off your CDs so they sound better. I don’t know if they still do it, but 10 years ago when you went to audition any stereo component the salesman had all of his demo discs painted green around the edges. You can spend more for a power cord than most people pay for a divorce, and if you want the latest cutting-edge speaker system, prepare to cash out your retirement, win the big one or take out a second mortgage.

One thing I have observed in listening to high end systems since 1990 with all these miracle tweaks is that the differences disappear when the salesman leaves the room. For the ones that do sound different, the difference is not large and not necessarily an improvement, and certainly does not hold up to a cost-benefit analysis.

But all of these CD “improvements” have been rendered moot by the current trend in audio distribution. The download and streaming are in the process of putting the CD out of business. After a relatively short run of 30 years (very short for something pitched as perfect), it looks like the cool kids don’t want to mess around with discs and tapes any longer; they want something they can put into their i-phones and take with them. Of course, the audio expert class cannot resist the temptation to step forward and save you, once again, from low fidelity. They have picked a fight with the internet about whether a FLAC is superior to a .wav and which mp3 sampling rate is right for you. Of course, all this helpful information will help you get the best sound possible from your little earbuds.

But just when you thought it was safe to go back into the stereo shop, the audiophile grade huckster has once again reared his ugly head. Enter, or re-enter, the reel to reel tape recorder. Apparently a magazine known as The Absolute Sound ran an item in 2013 extolling the benefits of analog tape and how it is superior to digital. The more gullible of the “me-too” audiophiles headed straight for ebay, bypassing every garage sale in the zip code, and immediately created a demand for 30 year old tape machines that you can no longer buy tape (or parts) for, unless you get lucky at Goodwill or bent over a barrel on ebay. Up until this item appeared in the magazine, you could buy reel to reel machines for nothing, or next to it, on ebay or any yard sale in the neighborhood. Some charity run thrift stores had stopped accepting them as donations. Now they are the hottest brand going in audiophile circles. There is even a website, which specializes in a certain make and model, which will calibrate an old machine, do any necessary repairs, paint it in your choice of funky colors, and then sell it to salivating audiophiles for prices in excess of 10,000 dollars.

So when will the madness end? It won’t, as long there are lawyers, doctors, stock brokers, hedge fund managers, trust funders and other well heeled but technically ignorant buyers for whatever the huckster du jour is selling.

If you want a demonstration of what I’m saying here, challenge a self-appointed, self-anointed expert on a technical point. See if you can find a real engineer, you know, the kind who earned a degree and professional registration, and have them challenge the latest outrage published in Stereophile. Of course, the Stereophile contributor is taken more seriously owing to the fact he writes under a pseudonym for a magazine, has golden ears and tells the reader exactly what he wants to hear.

The ensuing hissy fit, while at times ugly, is fun to watch. It creates a beast I have dubbed “the butt-hurt audiophile.” The common defense offered by the butt-hurt audiophile when you challenge his orthodoxy is either, “your system lacks resolution and therefore is not worthy of the upgraded __________”, or, “your hearing is simply not good enough to hear what I hear”, or the more common, and much less sophisticated, obscenity filled rant that will include not-so-oblique references to your bloodline, your mother, your native language and sometimes even your name.

So what do you do about this madness? Nothing. You let the kids play in their gilded sandbox while congratulating one another on their most recent purchases. If you choose not to play the game, you can still enjoy good sound without spending your life savings. In my opinion, you can get the most improvements in performance from your stationary home system by spending your power cord and cable dollars on better speakers, amplifiers and source components, in that order. But there is an upper limit which is beyond the knee in the cost-v-benefit curve above which you are paying good money and getting nothing to show for it, except bragging rights of course.

The most overlooked and under-argued part of your system is the room it sits in. Have your room acoustically treated and experiment with speaker placement. These tweaks, unlike the nebulous “improvements” made by ten thousand dollar cables, will be apparent immediately and to everyone. If you feel the need, a power conditioner will eliminate the need for a mega-buck power cord, assuming you have something wrong with your power, which you probably don’t. And I’m sorry to say this, but people who spend thousands on interconnects, speaker wire and power cords are best described by WC Fields in his not-so-famous quote: “It is morally wrong to allow a sucker to keep his money.”

The audiophile community is split into two camps these days: the true believers who approach the endeavor with an almost religious zeal, the types who believe everything they are told as long as it comes from a “trusted” source. Then you have the skeptics. The engineers who actually design these devices are skeptics; it’s the marketers who turn the product into a religious object after the engineers are finished with it. Anyone who has an ounce of knowledge about electronics and engineering should also bring a heavy dose of “show me” to the party. Most do, some don’t.

I guess as long as you can objectively see what is going on in the business (and the hobby) it is relatively harmless and is certainly entertaining. The people who fall for the hucksters’ claims do so willingly and can afford it. It is fun to watch them when buyer’s remorse sets in and they start trying to justify spending 60,000 dollars for a plasma tweeter, but they have hurt nobody but themselves. It’s a textbook case of caveat emptor.

My approach to dealing with a high pressure salesman and a funky sales pitch is to come back in a week and listen again. If spending 100K is a good idea today, it will still be a good idea next week after I have had time to think it over. And if the shop is not there in a week, you didn’t want to be doing business with them anyway. Please note, I do not have 100K tied up in hi-fi. My actual outlay, I refuse to call it an investment because it isn’t, is around 10K. Most of my equipment was bought second hand. As with automobiles, I prefer to let someone else eat the initial depreciation.

OK, that’s my opinion on the current state of the high end based on 40 years of observation and participation.

Fire away. CvdJ"


I’ve seen post on there about the benefits of or not for after market power cords get 300 replays not long ago over there .
 
S

Speedskater

Audioholic Chief
While there had been many nonsense or ineffective audio products in the 1960's & 70's the real split happen:

May 7, 1977 SMWTMS did the first ever audio double blind subjective listening tests. An argument over the audibility of differences between amplifiers at a club meeting in November 1976 resulted in an agreement that a double blind test could settle the question.
 
Eppie

Eppie

Audioholic General
Fun read. There were some examples of poor RIAA calibration decades ago, but it's such a mature technology now that it's pretty hard to get it wrong unless dealing with one of those cheap turntable/amp/speaker combos. Phono cartridges also had very different characteristics but CDs eliminated that aspect of playback, or more accurately replaced it with DAC implementations. DACs got pretty accurate early on so I'm on board with those that believe that there is very little difference between built-in DACs in AVRs & CD players and those expensive out-board DACs. What reviewers are hearing is likely expectation bias, or like in one recent speaker thread, certain errors are to people's liking.

There were correct arguments in regard to MP3 bit rates early on. 128k sounds like crap on good equipment. You can't accurately reproduce high frequencies at low bit rates and cymbals sound like the speaker is rotating quickly. 256k gets acceptable to the average listener, but on good speakers that offer a lot of detail in higher frequencies, those with good hearing can notice the compression still. At 320k it gets very hard to tell the difference between FLAC and MP3. I would have anyone making that claim perform a double blind test. I have loaded WAV and FLAC and 320k MP3 files into Audacity (which can display the analogue waveform) and the waveforms are virtually identical (you can spot small variations with MP3 in places due to the compression). The problem with MP3 is that it is lossy, so if things change down the road (and they always seem to) converting from MP3 to something else loses those differences permanently, and if converting to another lossy format you introduce more errors that get compounded. At least with FLAC you will be able to convert to another format and still be 100% true to the source.

Early digital recordings were far from perfect though (and still fail to be many times). It's all in the hands of the mixer and recording engineer. As hi-fi enthusiasts we would like to have every recording mixed for studio monitors with minimal compression, but music is for the masses and engineers have to take mobile phones, portables, mini-speakers and the like into consideration. A thorough engineer will play back a mix on a variety of devices and speakers and that can lead to some compromises along the way. Steven Guttenberg (The Audiophiliac) once suggested to music labels that they release one mix for the masses and another for audiophiles, but that's not economically practical.

As a technology though I think you would be hard pressed to find an engineer worth his salt who would argue that digital has not surpassed analogue for accuracy.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
Yeah Carlos did well with that. All you have to do is spend a little time on Audiophiles North America (a FB audio group where some of the mods are in the 'phoolery business) to get a good dose of 'phoolery. If you start to ask for objectivity or some facts they're likely to simply boot you.
 
Eppie

Eppie

Audioholic General
Yeah Carlos did well with that. All you have to do is spend a little time on Audiophiles North America (a FB audio group where some of the mods are in the 'phoolery business) to get a good dose of 'phoolery. If you start to ask for objectivity or some facts they're likely to simply boot you.
Kind of like conspiracy theory groups. They only believe what they want to hear, and they isolate themselves in private groups to prevent others from making logical arguments.
 
Mikado463

Mikado463

Audioholic Samurai
Interesting read, yet in the end it remains a hobby and like many other hobbies most don't hold up to 'cost/benefit anylasis'. But if it puts a smile on your face and your toes are a tappin' then all is good !
 
M

Mr._Clark

Audioholic General
I will give the audio hucksters credit for use of creative but almost meaningless terms. It seems as if they use the same terms and variations thereof over and over in various combinations.

Terms like "soundstage" "holographic" "tonal" "imaging" "clarity" "musicality" and "noise floor" seem to be favorites.

Apologies in advance for the long list. The number of meaningless terms is rather ridiculous, and I got a little carried away. Here are a few examples:

"natural sounding"

"unparalleled realism"

"holographic realism"

"improved soundstaging"

"high resolution"

"holographic soundscape"

"dramatically improved musicality"

"lifelike imaging"

"hear every nuance"

"consistency of sound"

"maximum signal transfer"

"finely detailed"

"timbrel accuracy"

"neutral timbre"

"efficient signal transfer"

"warm and detailed balance"

"lifelike bloom"

"natural warmth and timbre"

"tonal color"

"astounding airiness and definition"

"enhanced dynamics"

"natural clarity to the sound"

"enhanced tonal clarity"

"natural tonal clarity"

"balanced tonal quality"

"improved vocals"

"emotional intensity"

"greater spaciousness"

"sonic balance"

"rich in texture"

"tonal balance"

"greater focus"

"dead-center neutrality"

"exceptionally neutral"

"full of body"

"deeper black noise floor"

"non-existent noise floor"

"lower noise floor"

"greater warmth"

"stellar sonics"

"greater musicality"

"increased detail and focus"

"effortless detail and musicality"

"spacious staging"

"highest amount of realism"

"clearly defined sound"

"ultra resolution"

"rich vibrant tone color"

"explosive dynamics"

"better conveys the essence of music"

"maximum amount of low level information"

"rich full bodied textures"

"increased refinement"

"liquid smoothness"

"more air and detail"

"robust dynamics"

"contact point at the molecular level"

"clear correctness of presentation"

"higher energy"

"frequency uniformity"

"matrix shielding"

"holographic pinpoint imaging"

"locked in imaging"

"purer signal"

"pure and coherent"

"improved vibrational isolation"

"expansion of the sound stage"

"the [magic snake oil] transformed virtually every aspect of my system's sound"

"state of the art power delivery"
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Overlord
Kind of like conspiracy theory groups. They only believe what they want to hear, and they isolate themselves in private groups to prevent others from making logical arguments.
I recently stopped talking to a friend who's like that. Leaps to some pretty whacky conclusions with no real evidence. Before covid became a big thing he'd already heard about it, determined this is the big one and bought himself a fancy $100 mask with special micron filters that you replace after some use. He blew fifty on a pack of the filters I think...

Well now he's an anti-mask/anti-vaxxer who thinks there's some conspiracy to control the populace or something... I'm not sure. He gets pissed off at me every time I try to take him down a logical path to reach a reasonable conclusion. Even if it's "I don't know" that's better than jumping to fallacious conclusions. I try by asking questions designed to point out some of the flaws in his thinking. He just gets pissed off and shuts down the conversation.

It's a real bummer because I love the guy. Known him for 10-15 years. He's actually a pretty smart guy, just not always very reasonable. I always put up with it before, but man. His logic and reasoning is becoming actually dangerous and it upsets me. I can't just ignore his comments and statements anymore so conversations started devolving into arguments almost every time. I gave up. I don't talk to him anymore.

Yeah, it's still bugging me. It's only been a few weeks since I shut the door on him.
 
Eppie

Eppie

Audioholic General
I've probably used some of those one time or another. It's hard to put properly into words isn't it. ;)
 
Eppie

Eppie

Audioholic General
I know where you're coming from @Pogre. I have a friend of 5 years who started posting conspiracy theory links on FB and his wife started as well. I joke about it with him and try not to preach and contradict every post because I'm worried that I'll just alienate him. He's going through some tough financial times due to Covid. I figure the safer approach in my instance is to stick to my beliefs on FB without being preachy and teach by example. Not as easy as it seems.
 
CajunLB

CajunLB

Senior Audioholic
I will give the audio hucksters credit for use of creative but almost meaningless terms. It seems as if they use the same terms and variations thereof over and over in various combinations.

Terms like "soundstage" "holographic" "tonal" "imaging" "clarity" "musicality" and "noise floor" seem to be favorites.

Apologies in advance for the long list. The number of meaningless terms is rather ridiculous, and I got a little carried away. Here are a few examples:

"natural sounding"

"unparalleled realism"

"holographic realism"

"improved soundstaging"

"high resolution"

"holographic soundscape"

"dramatically improved musicality"

"lifelike imaging"

"hear every nuance"

"consistency of sound"

"maximum signal transfer"

"finely detailed"

"timbrel accuracy"

"neutral timbre"

"efficient signal transfer"

"warm and detailed balance"

"lifelike bloom"

"natural warmth and timbre"

"tonal color"

"astounding airiness and definition"

"enhanced dynamics"

"natural clarity to the sound"

"enhanced tonal clarity"

"natural tonal clarity"

"balanced tonal quality"

"improved vocals"

"emotional intensity"

"greater spaciousness"

"sonic balance"

"rich in texture"

"tonal balance"

"greater focus"

"dead-center neutrality"

"exceptionally neutral"

"full of body"

"deeper black noise floor"

"non-existent noise floor"

"lower noise floor"

"greater warmth"

"stellar sonics"

"greater musicality"

"increased detail and focus"

"effortless detail and musicality"

"spacious staging"

"highest amount of realism"

"clearly defined sound"

"ultra resolution"

"rich vibrant tone color"

"explosive dynamics"

"better conveys the essence of music"

"maximum amount of low level information"

"rich full bodied textures"

"increased refinement"

"liquid smoothness"

"more air and detail"

"robust dynamics"

"contact point at the molecular level"

"clear correctness of presentation"

"higher energy"

"frequency uniformity"

"matrix shielding"

"holographic pinpoint imaging"

"locked in imaging"

"purer signal"

"pure and coherent"

"improved vibrational isolation"

"expansion of the sound stage"

"the [magic snake oil] transformed virtually every aspect of my system's sound"

"state of the art power delivery"
Glad Chocolatey mids didn’t make the list... ;)
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Staff member
I will give the audio hucksters credit for use of creative but almost meaningless terms. It seems as if they use the same terms and variations thereof over and over in various combinations.

Terms like "soundstage" "holographic" "tonal" "imaging" "clarity" "musicality" and "noise floor" seem to be favorites.

Apologies in advance for the long list. The number of meaningless terms is rather ridiculous, and I got a little carried away. Here are a few examples:

"natural sounding"

"unparalleled realism"

"holographic realism"

"improved soundstaging"

"high resolution"

"holographic soundscape"

"dramatically improved musicality"

"lifelike imaging"

"hear every nuance"

"consistency of sound"

"maximum signal transfer"

"finely detailed"

"timbrel accuracy"

"neutral timbre"

"efficient signal transfer"

"warm and detailed balance"

"lifelike bloom"

"natural warmth and timbre"

"tonal color"

"astounding airiness and definition"

"enhanced dynamics"

"natural clarity to the sound"

"enhanced tonal clarity"

"natural tonal clarity"

"balanced tonal quality"

"improved vocals"

"emotional intensity"

"greater spaciousness"

"sonic balance"

"rich in texture"

"tonal balance"

"greater focus"

"dead-center neutrality"

"exceptionally neutral"

"full of body"

"deeper black noise floor"

"non-existent noise floor"

"lower noise floor"

"greater warmth"

"stellar sonics"

"greater musicality"

"increased detail and focus"

"effortless detail and musicality"

"spacious staging"

"highest amount of realism"

"clearly defined sound"

"ultra resolution"

"rich vibrant tone color"

"explosive dynamics"

"better conveys the essence of music"

"maximum amount of low level information"

"rich full bodied textures"

"increased refinement"

"liquid smoothness"

"more air and detail"

"robust dynamics"

"contact point at the molecular level"

"clear correctness of presentation"

"higher energy"

"frequency uniformity"

"matrix shielding"

"holographic pinpoint imaging"

"locked in imaging"

"purer signal"

"pure and coherent"

"improved vibrational isolation"

"expansion of the sound stage"

"the [magic snake oil] transformed virtually every aspect of my system's sound"

"state of the art power delivery"
Some of those terms have legitimate meaning. Tonality and neutrality are real descriptors of a sound system. Soundstage and imaging are also qualities imparted by a sound system. They describe real things. I agree that much of that kind of flowery language is rubbish though.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
Some of those terms have legitimate meaning. Tonality and neutrality are real descriptors of a sound system. Soundstage and imaging are also qualities imparted by a sound system. They describe real things. I agree that much of that kind of flowery language is rubbish though.
Yes but the terms are often misused, tho. Or ascribed to devices that have nothing to do with it (like soundstage and imaging).
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Staff member
Yes but the terms are often misused, tho. Or ascribed to devices that have nothing to do with it (like soundstage and imaging).
Agreed. If your pre-amp is doing anything to affect the soundstage, something has gone horribly wrong somewhere...
 
M

Mr._Clark

Audioholic General
Yes but the terms are often misused, tho. Or ascribed to devices that have nothing to do with it (like soundstage and imaging).
Most of these terms were used to describe speaker cables and other overpriced gizmos available from SR.

I suppose a should have clarified what products allegedly provide "holographic pinpoint imaging."
 
M

Mr._Clark

Audioholic General
I know where you're coming from @Pogre. I have a friend of 5 years who started posting conspiracy theory links on FB and his wife started as well. I joke about it with him and try not to preach and contradict every post because I'm worried that I'll just alienate him. He's going through some tough financial times due to Covid. I figure the safer approach in my instance is to stick to my beliefs on FB without being preachy and teach by example. Not as easy as it seems.
I've noticed that people who've had significant financial issues due to COVID tend to be more skeptical of it. I can understand this to a point. It hit me when a friend posted on FB that his business was shut down due to COVID and he was so stressed he couldn't sleep at night.
 

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